EXCLUSIVE: Jeff Eastin, creator/executive producer of the USA Network series White Collar and Graceland, has signed with ICM Partners after being at CAA for more than a decade. Eastin has an overall deal at Fox TV Studios, which produces White Collar, set to end its run at some point with a six-episode sixth season. Graceland is now in its second season that premiered this month. Eastin’s credits also include NBC’s short-lived 2004 cop series Hawaii, and writing the 1999 pic Held Up starring Jamie Foxx and the screenplay for the perpetually in-limbo True Lies 2. He continues to be repped by attorney Karl Austin.
USA Picks Up Medical Drama Pilots ‘Rush’ & Complications’ To Series, Confirms ‘White Collar’ Renewal
Dr. Lawson, meet Dr. Rush and Dr. Ellis. USA Network has given 10-episode series orders to two medical dramas whose protagonists share DNA with the lead in Royal Pains, ER physician-turned-concierge doctor Hank Lawson. Rush, from writer-director Jonathan Levine and Fox 21, stars Tom Ellis as on-call doctor. Complications, from Burn Notice creator Matt Nix and Fox TV Studios, stars Jason O’Mara as an ER doctor. It’s been a big week for Nix with two series pickups, comedy The Comedians at FX and now Complications.
Related: 2014 USA Network Pilots
Complications appears to be part of a two-project deal between USA and FtvS that also includes the renewal of White Collar for a six-episode sixth season, which we scooped last night. As usual, USA does not acknowledge whether this is White Collar‘s final season and likely will make the announcement closer to the show’s airing, as it most recently did with Psych.
One of USA Network‘s signature series, drama White Collar, is poised to wrap its run with a six-episode sixth and final season. There is no official word yet, but I hear the network and series producer Fox TV Studios are finalizing the deal. The size of the order looks like a compromise between a movie/mini-series conclusion USA had been considering and a full-length season, sought by producer FfvS. Season 5 ended with a cliffhanger involving the abduction of Neal Caffrey (Matt Bomer). All of USA’s other established series — Monk, Burn Notice (also produced by FtvS), Psych and In Plain Sight — also had received a proper send-off. Moved to fall for the first time since its first season, White Collar got dinged up against in-season competition but rebounded in January when the conclusion of Season 5 averaged 2.8 million viewers in Live+Same Day, up 22% from fall, and 955,000 adults 18-49, up 32%.
By this time, USA Network series White Collar would normally be deeply in preproduction, getting ready to start filming in March. But not this year. It’s already mid-February, and there is still no decision on the future of the buddy crime drama whose most recent fifth season ended two weeks ago. I hear there has been some communication between USA and White Collar producer Fox TV Studios but no meaningful dialogue so far. Given the way Season 5 ended — with a cliffhanger involving the abduction of Neal Caffrey (Matt Bomer) — it is safe to assume that there will be some sort of continuation, likely a conclusion for the series. The question is what that sixth and final installment will be. I hear the network has been mulling a short miniseries to wrap the story in the vein of Showtime’s The Big C, while the studio would prefer a traditional final season. While Collar‘s status as one of USA’s signature series would weigh in favor of the second option. All of USA’s other established series – Monk, Burn Notice (also produced by FtvS), Psych and In Plain Sight — have received a proper send-off with a final season (While USA prefers to announce the end of its series when their last seasons hit the air for tune-in reasons, all producers are told at the time of the final renewal so they can plan …
Nick Thiel has been promoted from co-executive producer to executive producer on USA’s White Collar, from Fox TV Studios. He will take on responsibilities of co-showrunner alongside series’ creator/executive producer/showrunner Jeff Eastin, helping Easting with the day-to-day running of the show as Eastin is juggling two series — White Collar and USA freshman Graceland, which is looking good for renewal. Thiel, repped by UTA and Rain Management Group, previously worked as co-executive producer on USA’s Burn Notice, also from FtvS. He also served as executive producer/showrunner on Lifetime’s Army Wives. Season 5 of White Collar, starring Matt Bomer and Tim DeKay, premieres Oct. 17.
ION just announced that it has picked up two dramas that originated on USA Network: Burn Notice and White Collar. Each show was a top rated scripted cable original series among 25-to-54 year olds on the nights they aired, and ranked among the top 10 dramas for those making $100k+, ION says. They join a line up that includes Psych (originally on USA), Leverage (TNT), and Monk (USA).
EXCLUSIVE: Neal Caffrey is getting a new love interest. Legend Of The Seeker alumna Bridget Regan has booked a 10-episode arc on USA’s White Collar. She will play Rebecca Lowe, a beautiful rare book scholar who becomes entangled with Neal’s (Matt Bomer) latest con, and then ultimately Neal himself. In the Season 4 finale in March, Neal parted ways with on-again, off-again girlfriend, Sara Ellis (Hilarie Burton). Regan, repped by TMT Entertainment and Gersh, recently starred in ABC’s hour-long pilot Murder In Manhattan and recurred on the CW’s Beauty And The Beast. White Collar is currently in production on Season 5, which will premiere in October.
USA Network today announced when three of its biggest series would be coming back for their winter seasons in 2013. Season 2 of Suits will be back with six new episodes starting January 17. Season 4 of White Collar picks up for six more episodes on January 22, and the second season of Necessary Roughness returns a day later for five more episodes.
Three days into the astronomical fall, USA Network has made the first renewal decision on its summer series, picking up additional seasons of established performers Royal Pains, White Collar and Covert Affairs. For Royal Pains, the pickup is for 26 episodes across two additional seasons, the show’s fifth and sixth. White Collar and Covert Affairs have each received a 16-episode renewal for a fifth and fourth season, respectively. “In an increasingly competitive landscape, these series got new season pickups the old-fashioned way – they earned it,” said USA co-presidents Chris McCumber and Jeff Wachtel. The move comes as USA wrapped a seventh consecutive summer as the No. 1 cable network across all key demos.
Vlada Gelman is West Coast Reporter for TVLine
Matt Bomer has been a very busy man. The White Collar star has a movie opening soon — you may have heard of a little “independent” project called Magic Mike — but he isn’t forgetting his TV roots. In addition to his leading role as con man Neal Caffrey on the dapper USA Network hit, Bomer found time during his hiatus to film a guest spot on a decidedly different show — the musical comedy Glee — giving him two shots at an Emmy nomination. Here, the actor talks to TVLine about the Emmys’ indifference to USA Network shows, his favorite moments from White Collar‘s most recent season and stretching his comedy muscles.
AWARDSLINE: Do you see something like Magic Mike and a growing movie career as a positive or a hindrance to your Emmy chances — as well as to White Collar‘s future?
MATT BOMER: It’s always good to get your face out there, especially if you’re working with somebody like [Magic Mike director] Steven Soderbergh. I don’t think that hurts. I certainly don’t think it’ll hurt the show. The great thing about getting to do a cable series is we’re on for six months and we’re off for six months. I’ve been trying to use my hiatus to work with filmmakers like [In Time director-writer] Andrew Niccol and Steven Soderbergh that I really believe in, in smaller roles, rather than taking a lead in something big and studio and splashy — not that Magic Mike hasn’t become studio and splashy [laughs]. But when I signed on to do it, it was a $5 million independent movie. I don’t think it’s a bad thing to go out there and challenge yourself as an actor.
CAA has signed three senior-level TV writer-producers. Eric Overmyer is the co-creator/executive producer of HBO’s Treme. Before collaborating with David Simon on the New Orleans-based series, Overmyer worked with Simon as a producer and writer on The Wire. Overmyer, who comes from UTA, also has worked on the three Law & Order series and Homicide: Life On The Street.
Also joining CAA from UTA is Scott Rosenbaum whose resume includes stints as executive producer on V and Chuck and co-executive producer on The Shield for five seasons. Clifton Campbell is the creator and executive producer of A&E’s The Glades and was previously a co-executive producer on USA’s White Collar. He was repped by ICM.
The case of who created White Collar has ended in a private settlement. “The litigation has been resolved and is in the process of being dismissed,” is all plaintiff Travis Romero’s lawyer Rhett Francisco would tell Deadline today. The case was scheduled for a March 2013 trial that could have seen the Executive Producer of the USA Network series plus some Fox TV Studio executives and CAA agents asked some potentially embarrassing questions about their conduct and practices. Romero sued Jeff Eastin, White Collar’s credited creator, last year. Fox TV Studios president David Madden and executive VP Matt Loze and CAA’s Rob Kenneally and Tom Young were also named as defendants. The studio and agency men allegedly encouraged Eastin to cut Romero out of the profits from the show and his co-creator credit. CAA represents Eastin. Fox TV produces the high class crime drama, now in its third season. Romero claimed that that he and his long time creative partner Eastin came up with the idea for White Collar in the latter’s backyard hot tub years back. Romero also claims the duo worked with Fox in pitching it to USA. While the scope of Romero’s initial case had recently been scaled back by Judge Rolf Treu, Eastin, Fox TV and CAA weren’t off the hook. In his May 15 ruling (Read it here), the judge granted Romero the ability to amend his suit to address issues of specificity in regards to …
USA Network has set summer premiere dates for its returning series Royal Pains, Necessary Roughness, Burn Notice, Suits, White Collar and Covert Affairs. Coming out of the gate first are Season 4 of Royal Pains and Season 2 of Necessary Roughness, which will kick things off on June 6 and will air on Wednesday at 9 PM and 10 PM, respectively. The following week, on June 14, Burn Notice returns for Season 6, leading into the second season of Suits, which will once again be paired on Thursdays. Also returning to their regular night, Tuesday, are White Collar Season 4 and Covert Affairs Season 3, which launch on July 10. Yet to get a premiere date is USA’s new 6-episode drama series Political Animals starring Sigourney Weaver.
FX Announces Midseason Schedule
USA Network has firmed up its midseason schedule, which will feature the return of White Collar on January 17 and Royal Pains on January 18 and the premiere of new drama Common Law on January 26. White Collar and Royal Pains will air on the same nights they did in the summer — Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively — but will slide from 9 PM to 10 PM. Common Law, which stars Michael Ealy and Warren Kole as a pair of detectives forced to attend couples counseling, will air Thursdays at 10 PM. For the first time in awhile for a rookie USA series, Common Law will launch with no original lead-in from an established show. This past midseason, Fairly Legal launched on Thursdays 10 PM behind Royal Pains.
HBO’s off-beat comedy series Eastbound & Down will return for a third season on February 19, followed by the debut of Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant’s latest series Life’s Too Short. The comedies will air in the 10 PM hour, following new drama Luck, which launches January 29 following a preview after the season finale of Boardwalk Empire on December 11. Life’s Too Short is a faux documentary starring actor Warwick Davis as a fictionalized version of himself: a down-and-out little person desperately trying to hustle and connive his way back into the spotlight. Gervais will be able to promote Life’s Too Short with his stint as host of the Golden Globes in January.
EXCLUSIVE: USA Network has promoted Alex Sepiol to SVP Original Scripted Series Programming. He will continue to report to Bill McGoldrick, also SVP, Original Scripted Programming. In 2005, Sepiol brought Burn Notice to the network as a pitch and supervised the development of what would become one of USA’s signature series. He subsequently brought in and developed White Collar, Fairly Legal and USA’s newest hit, Suits. As SVP, Sepiol will continue to oversee production on the four series. He is currently shepherding two recently greenlighted pilots: the untitled Douglas McGrath project, one of two half-hour pilots that mark USA’s foray into comedy, and an untitled hourlong drama by White Collar creator Jeff Eastin. Sepiol also shepherded the development at USA of In Plain Sight, which had been originally set up at UPN, and the day-to-day production through Season 2. “Alex has consistently demonstrated an eye for shows that not only connect with our audience but push the USA brand to new and exciting places,” McGoldrick said. “In his short time as an executive, he has identified and cultivated relationships with some of the most talented writers working in television today.” Sepiol joined USA in the summer of 2001 as assistant to now USA co-president Jeff Wachtel. After a brief hiatus, Sepiol rejoined the network in 2004 and was upped to VP in 2009.
USA Network is doubling its bet on Jeff Eastin. The top-rated cable network is finalizing a deal for a pilot order to a one-hour drama from the White Collar creator, which follows agents from various federal and local agencies (DEA, FBI, LAPD) who all live at an undercover house in Southern California. The project is produced by the company behind White Collar, Fox TV Studios, where Eastin is under an overall deal. CAA-repped Eastin serves as executive producer/showrunner on White Collar, which was recently renewed for a fourth season. The series stars Matt Bomer as a con man who helps the FBI catch other criminals. The untitled Eastin project joins USA’s current batch of pilots: dramas Over/Under and Wild Card, also from FtvS, and comedies Paging Dr. Freed and the untitled Douglas McGarth project starring Nathan Lane, which mark the network’s foray into half-hours.
This year’s Emmy race for Outstanding Drama Series will continue cable’s dominance in this most prestigious category. Cable claimed 10 of the 13 nomination spots over the past two years, and 13 of 19 since 2008. By contrast, cable earned a mere nine nods combined in the seven years between 2001 and 2007 when the networks still ruled. The shift from broadcast is so extreme in 2011 that CBS’ The Good Wife is considered the only network series with a solid shot to earn its second nomination in as many years. (Though not in that league, NBC/DirecTV’s Friday Night Lights, NBC’s Parenthood, and CBS’ Blue Bloods deserve consideration while ABC has entered a rebuilding phase.) The sad reality is that the broadcast networks, which just signed a new eight-year deal with the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences to carry the Emmys, are facing a possible first-ever shutout from the top drama series category. That’s because of the continuing strength and ambition of programming on cable — in particular, HBO in a return to form, and AMC still on a roll.
HBO’s Prohibition-era hourlong Boardwalk Empire drew the most critical attention this Emmy season because of its pedigreed producer team, headed by the legendary Martin Scorsese and creator/showrunner Terence Winter, a Sopranos alum. How interesting that the pay channel’s expensive serial will compete against another period drama from that other Sopranos alum Matt Weiner. AMC’s first acclaimed original series, Mad Men, has won this category three years running and is bidding this year to be the first series to win four in a row since NBC’s The West Wing (2000- 2003). Though the frontrunner, Mad Men could be hurt by a long hiatus.
AMC has seized the mantle from HBO as TV’s preeminent quality-drama purveyor with a pair of newcomers that could crack the series field this year: the zombie-themed hour The Walking Dead, and the dark murder mystery The Killing. Even though two-time category nominee Breaking Bad is not eligible for 2011, AMC could still land three nods, becoming the first network in 10 years to do so in this category, after NBC scored the hat trick in 2001 with The West Wing, ER, and Law & Order. No cable network has ever managed the feat to date.
And then there’s Showtime, whose Dexter is in the running for its fourth consecutive Outstanding Drama nomination, along with first-season Shameless. FX is pushing its increasingly buzzed-about Western, Justified and, to a lesser extent, Sons Of Anarchy. TNT wants attention for The Closer, Men Of A Certain Age, and Southland. USA is pressing Covert Affairs and White Collar. Here’s our assessment of the chances for this year’s drama series in alphabetical order: